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Episode 15: Scuba diver in a forest, Car capers

  • Scuba diver in a forest: mythbusted
  • Car capers
    • Veggies/fruit in tailtipe can break the engine: busted
    • 'Unauthorized' additives
      • Drain clog remover: engine kept running. busted
      • Bleach: car eventually cut out. The bleach also rusted up the gas tank. plausible
      • Sugar: engine kept running. let the engine sit overnight and it still ran the next day. busted
    • Bullets blowing up car: busted
    • Hiding behind a car door will protect you from bullets: busted
    • Cola in the radiator as coolant: plausible
    • Cracking an egg into a radiator to plug holes: plausible
    • Penny in carburetor destorying engine: busted
    • Bleach in the engine oil: ?

After numerous reschedulings, the Discovery Channel has started playing the new episodes. The main difference this season, as hinted at in the "Myths Revisited" episode is that there is a lot bigger supporting cast, including Scottie Chapman, who got a lot of face time this show. It seems as she'll serve as a female goofy counterpart to Adam, who, in response, seems to have upped his histrionics even more.

Scuba diver myth

This is the classic myth portrayed in CSI about the scuba diver in the forest. As the myth goes, a firefighting copter picked up a bucket of water, dumps it in a forest, and out dropped the scuba diver.

They quickly dismissed the fire-fighting airplanes, which have a small nozzle for collecting water, far too small for a diver. They next looked at a "bambi bucket," which is dipped into the ocean by the helicopter. The one that they looked at was clearly too small for a diver to fit into, but I was disappointed that they moved on without looking at any other buckets. The one in the footage of helicopters was clearly larger, though it had rigging that would prevent a diver from entering as well.

They finally settled on the Ericson SkyCrane mechanism, which is a prop-driven hose that is lowered into the water by the helicopter that sucks water into its tank. Adam liked this scenario because of the active suction.

They picked up an outboard engine and re-welded the propeller downward so that it would be able to suck water up a tube. Sadly, the chicken cannon was carved up for its tube.

According to Jamie: 25% chance of nothing happening, 50% something bad happening, and 50% chance that its going to work (you do the math). In the tests it did work, pumping well over 2000 gallons per minute. Jamie and Adam got into a little debate over how to hook up the pump to the tank to measure its intake, which one of the new support cast mocked as "World-wide wrestling of nerds."

The final test was to bust the myth. They lowered the tube into the pool and pushed Buster into the intake. With the filter screen on the tube it wasn't even capable of grabbing Buster. The next step was to remove the filter screen. This time it did hold onto Buster, but when they tried to lift Buster out of the pool, Buster immediately fell off (with a nice hole where the wet suit used to be). busted

Car capers myths with Earl the Caddy

Earl the Caddy was donated by a viewer for mythbusting use in the spirit of Buster the dummy. After a resurrection of the engine by Scottie, they did several mythbustings with the car, including interesting additives in the gas tank, bullets fired at the car, and potatoes in the tailpipe.

Car caper 1: veggies/fruit in tailpipe

They shoved potatoes and bananas up the tailpipe of Earl the caddy to see if they could break its engine. In all their tests the potato/banana came shooting out quite easily. busted

Car caper 2: "Unauthorized" additives

They removed the engine and gas tank (with see-through cover) and put them in a blast shield.

  • Drain clog remover: engine kept running. busted
  • Bleach: car eventually cut out. The bleach also rusted up the gas tank. plausible
  • Sugar: engine kept running. let the engine sit overnight and it still ran the next day. busted

On a slightly different variation, they tested whether or not adding moth balls increases the octane of your gas. When they revved the engine it apparently sounded better. plausible

Car caper 3: Bullets blowing up car

Jamie had some well-placed shots (tight cluster) through the gas tank showing off his marksmanship. Nothing happened. busted

Car caper 4: Hiding behind car door will protect you from bullets

Jamie, Adam, and one other person lined up and fired 50 bullets into the car door. The bullets went through the door quite easily. busted

Car caper 5: Janky emergency radiator repairs

They used the same rig as before with the engine removed from the car.

Cola in the radiator as coolant: They ran the engine for awhile with the cola. When they stopped the engine let out a burp, but it did work (probably not wise to do nevertheless). plausible

Cracking an egg into the radiator to plug holes: the hole in the radiator plugged up right away. plausible

Car caper 6: Penny in carburetor destroys engine

The engine has been severely abused by this time. In their first attempts, the penny just sat in the carb unnicked. The moved the penny in deeper, but the engine kept running even though it did munch up the engine. busted

Car caper 7: Bleach in the engine oil

Smoke/steam came pouring out of the engine. The engine got hot enough to set fire to the wood that it was sitting on. To cap it off they fried an egg on the exhaust.

Though there were no spectacular explosions, the engine was pretty well used up.confirmed

Comments

I knew number 4. Who doesn't? Eek. Car doors are thin. I'd rather be behind a solid pine office door.

Some of the folks pinned down during the North Hollywood shoutout hid in the car's wheel well, which has the advantage of putting two wheels and an axle between you and the shooter.

Engine blocks should be good, too.

After trying to shootout the gas tank, I think they just wanted an excuse to pump the car full of bullets.

They were all shooting extremely high-powered automatic weapons! Of course they went through the door.

I'm sure this test would be different if done on today's show. They might have used different weapons and distances in an effort to determine at which point and with which weapons a car door actually does provide protection. If at all.

But military-grade weapons at 50-100 yards isn't exactly completely "busting" a myth. But again, the show's practices have changed quite a bit since 2004.

Does anyone remember how much bleach they put into the engine? I saw the episode but I cannot remember.

i poured three litres of bleach in my stupid car to finish its engine so my dad buys me a new one, but my car is NOT going down. its been two days and there is three litres of bleach in my engine and still no sign of going down.

help?

A single door in a car, at least a modern one, is little more than a sheet of aluminum, which isn't going to stop small arms fire, let alone military-grade rifles or sub-machine guns. So while their own test is a little overkill, it's only confirming something I knew already. In tactical situations the wheel well is a good place, as well as a the engine block. If you must use the door, however, you're better advised to be behind both of them ;)

Regarding using cars as cover, see The Box of Truth web site - http://www.theboxoftruth.com/ - for pictures that will disabuse you of that notion. Even a 9mm will happily go through a car door; a .40 can go through both of them.